73. A characteristic pharmacological action of 'Yang-invigorating' Chinese tonifying herbs: Enhancement of myocardial ATP-generation capacity

KO K.-M. ; LEON T. Y. Y.; MAK D. H. F.; CHIU P.-Y. ; DU Y.; POON M. K. T.;

In order to investigate the pharmacological basis of 'Yang-invigorating' action, the effect of oral treatment with the methanolic extract of 'Yang-invigorating' herbs on ATP-generation capacity was examined, using heart homogenates prepared from herb-pretreated mice. Tonifying (i.e., health-promoting) herbs of other functional categories were also included for comparison. The results indicated that 'Yang-invigorating' Chinese tonifying herbs could invariably enhance myocardial ATP-generation capacity, with the extent of stimulation varying among the herbs. In contrast, 'Yin-nourishing' herbs either did not stimulate or even decreased myocardial ATP-generation capacity. While 'Qi-invigorating' herbs produced variable effects on myocardial ATP-generation capacity, most of the 'blood-enriching' herbs did not cause any significant changes. The results obtained from studies using myocardial mitochondrial fractions isolated from herb-pretreated mice suggest that 'Yang-invigorating' herbs might speed up ATP generation by increasing mitochondrial electron transport. The ensemble of results has provided evidence for the first time to support the pharmacological basis of 'Yang invigoration' in Chinese medicine.